BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has accused the Election Commission of ignoring the complaints against the ‘ruling party’s violence’ in the city corporation polls.
“The three city corporation election campaigns have been marked by lawlessness and illegal abuse conducted by the ruling party,” he said.
“There have been arrests, threats of arrest and intimidation, both openly and covertly. And the police did not stand by us. Instead, as in Khulna and Gazipur, they put their full support behind the Awami League candidate.”
Rizvi said the complaints had been made to the Election Commission, but that they were being ignored. “Complaining to them [the EC] is like crying in the wilderness.”
The candidates for the Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barishal elections are busy campaigning ahead of the Jul 30 polls. The parties are running mayoral candidates in this year’s elections.
Awami League candidates have won both the Khulna and Gazipur City Corporation polls, which were held on May 15 and Jun 26, respectively.
The BNP has alleged extensive frauds in the elections and claimed that the ruling party will use the same methods to win the coming parliamentary elections.
“The Awami League’s leaders are breaking the rules of conduct set out as the ruling party. The deputy commissioners are favouring the Awami League. The BNP offices in parts of the city have been vandalised or shuttered. Activists have been threatened and intimidated. The Awami cadre has created an anxious environment.”
“Various open and subtle threats are being used in Barishal and Sylhet. Even though Abul Hasnat Abdullah has received the minister status, he is still in the Barishal constituency campaigning for his son (Sadeq Abdullah). It is against the rules.”
None of the three cities have a ‘fair election environment’, the BNP leader said.
“People are unsure if they will be able to vote safely.”
Rizvi dismissed the Awami League’s claims that the Khulna and Gazipur elections had been fair.
The BNP leader also criticised the Bangladesh Chhatra League’s attacks on quota protesters and called for the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.